Wallace & Gromit: Fright of the Bumblebees

Status: Almost one complete playthrough and then Wallace & Gromit glitched
Achievements: 4 of 12
Gamerscore: 75/200
DLC Purchased: None

Everyone’s favourite claymation duo returns to consoles and the PC thanks to TellTale Games. They have released Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, a series of four episodic point and click tales.

The first of these is Fright of the Bumblebees, in which Wallace’s contraptions have once again caused him a bit of trouble. The bills have been piling up, but Wallace has a new business plan that is going to change all that. His latest scheme revolves around the beehive in his basement. Together with Gromit, he plans on getting into the honey business. But when orders start coming in and they can’t keep up with production, and Wallace has a wonderful brainstorm. He decides to mix up a batch of growth serum to “enhance” the flowers the bees pollinate, leading to disastrous results.

I was very interested in how the point and click style of gameplay would come across on the 360. Using the analog sticks and buttons, you will move Wallace and Gromit around the house and take them for pleasant strolls down the street. The controls definitely are not the best this way, as sometimes the item you are trying to target takes forever for you to highlight. However, the puzzle solving is rather enjoyable. For instance, at the very beginning of the game Wallace has Gromit head into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Yet there is a pesky squirrel and a very interesting breakfast-making apparatus that you need to deal with.

The humor that we all love in the Wallace & Gromit saga is here and just as wonderful as ever. I love the cutscenes in which Wallace and Gromit interact with the neighbourhood people. All the characters really come to life and make me forget the minor control issues.

Sadly, the biggest disappointment for me was right as I was about to finish the game. I was driving along on autopilot in the van, when I could not for the life of me get my view unlocked from the dashboard. I needed to do so in order to do something on the outside of the van. I figured I could just restart from the beginning of the act. Sadly, this was not the case. And only when I was trying to figure out how to restart an act, I discovered the bookmark (aka-save) feature for the game. If only I had known about this sooner! I could have bookmarked the game before I got into the van. It looks like I will need to replay the entire game in order to fix the glitch. Thankfully, the game is not too long, and can be finished in about three to four hours.

If you are a fan of the Wallace & Gromit franchise, then I suggest picking up the content as it is being released on the 360. All four episodes are available now for the PC.

(Reviewed for GamingAngels – Aug 16, 2009)

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